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FRIDAY, October 07, 2022
nationthailand
R&B Singer R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison in sex case

R&B Singer R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison in sex case

THURSDAY, June 30, 2022

R. Kelly was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison, following the multiplatinum R&B singer's conviction for exploiting his stardom and wealth over decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex.

The sentence was imposed nine months after Kelly, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex crimes, in a trial that amplified accusations that had dogged the singer of the Grammy-winning hit "I Believe I Can Fly" for two decades.

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is among the most prominent people convicted of sexual misbehaviour during the #MeToo movement against such conduct by prominent men.

He did not speak during Wednesday's hearing but has repeatedly denied sexual abuse accusations.

After the sentence was read, his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, told reporters Kelly was "devastated" by the sentence but that he would appeal.

"Thirty years in prison is like a life sentence for him," Bonjean said.

The sentencing came after several accusers, some of whom were tearful, told the judge about how Kelly promised to mentor them and help them attain stardom, only to subject them to degrading sexual treatment and physical harm.

Many said the abuse led to mental health problems that persist.

Kelly was convicted on nine criminal charges, including one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors had urged a prison sentence of more than 25 years, saying he had demonstrated a "callous disregard" for his victims and shown no remorse.

"I never thought that I would be here to see him be held accountable for the atrocious things that he did to children," Lizzette Martinez, one of the accusers who spoke in court, told reporters after the hearing.

Defence lawyers said Kelly deserved no more than 10 years, the mandatory minimum, arguing that his history as an abused child may have led to his adult "hypersexuality," and that he no longer posed a threat.

Kelly has been in jail since July 2019.

He will likely be transported soon to jail in Chicago, where he faces an August trial in federal court on child pornography and obstruction charges. He also faces various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.